Abstract

The association between scores on MMPI-2 scales and cognitive symptom validity test (SVT) failure was investigated in 127 criminal defendants evaluated for competency to stand trial, criminal responsibility, and drug dependence, and 141 personal injury and disability claimants. Results indicated that SVT failure was associated with exaggerated symptom presentation involving somatic complaints in civil litigants and more global exaggeration of psychopathology and somatic complaints in criminal defendants. Scores on the MMPI-2 Fake Bad Scale (FBS) were associated with SVT failure in both civil and criminal litigants, whereas scores on the MMPI-2 FP scale were associated with SVT failure in criminal defendants, but not in civil plaintiffs. These results support the utility of the FBS as an indicator of non-credible presentation of somatic and cognitive complaints in both civil and criminal forensic psychological assessments, and indicate that the lack of association between the MMPI-2 infrequency scales and SVT failure is limited to civil forensic settings.

Author notes

Portions of this study were presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality Assessment (SPA), March 2007, Arlington, Virginia.